Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Monday, November 29th, 2004
Good evening…
The weather in Baghdad is very cold…. Electricity cut-offs are very long these days, and the water from the tab is too cold…I couldn’t wash my hair for three days, finally I decided to heat some water on the kitchen stove, then wash my hair on the wash basin. There is a petrol, kerosene, and cooking gas shortage, their prices have risen again in an annoying way.
Confrontations are still going on in various areas of Baghdad… Al-Doora, Al-Amiriya, Al-Gazzaliya, Haifa Street, Abu Ghareeb, and of course, around the Airport…between the Resistance, and the occupation forces, and with groups (I do not know who they are, should I call them resistance also?) who carry a grudge against the Iraqi Police and the National Guard.
They say the price list is like this:
Whoever kills an Iraqi Policeman gets $1000.
Whoever kills an Iraqi National Guardsman gets $3000.
I don’t know who laid this pricelist, and who pays… but fire is raging in Baghdad, and other cities in Iraq, (Mousel, Baquba, Al-Ramadi, and of course, Fallujah….).
And when confrontations burn up, the presence of the Iraqi police is reduced very much on the streets, presenting a precious opportunity to thieves and criminals to kidnap, kill, and rob.
All people are afraid…and I am one of them.
You do not know of what you are afraid….from a gang that would kidnap or assassinate you, or any member of your family, or from an American army’s raid on your house.
You don’t know from where the blow will come to you…
From right or left? From front or back? All directions are dangerous, and you can’t tell by whom you are targeted?
Who is your friend, and who is your foe?
No body knows…..
The houses of those who support the resistance are raided, and they get arrested, and this might happen to innocents who are not connected with anyone, so their houses are smashed, and their furniture, and they would be arrested for a few days, then THEY apologize to them, and set them free…
Where can the checks of Apology be cashed?? From which Bank?
An apology…Huh… what good does it do, after the insults and terror?? And the material losses in the houses and furniture, the confiscation of Mobiles and computers in those houses, who pays the compensations for them? Who gives them back to their rightful owners?
All these acts support the theory that War is an unethical business, and does not belong to the world of Culture, Morals, Principals, and Justice.
And, if you belonged to those who support the Americans, or worked for them, then you are threatened to be killed, or have your house or office/shop, etc… burned down.
Then who is the “ Comfortable” one?? That who has nothing??
Who wouldn’t see, hear, or talk…Huh…
By GOD, even such a person would get a Blow by one of the sides, and goes as a guiltless victim, like the civilians who are dying daily, without a fault of their own, except being in the street, or even at home, while a fiery confrontation suddenly erupted near them.
This is chaos…if anyone would have said it in front of me a thousand times, some time before, I wouldn’t have realized how ugly this word is on the ground of reality. But it means devastation and destruction….and the fall of everything…
The fall of the system that rules the people, and their relations with each other, the fall of Laws, of Morals, Principles, and Values.
Oh, my GOD, how does life look like without rules, without laws, without morals, without anything that “checks back” the Beast inside the Human??
Yes, life becomes hell…and that is our life today.
A hell of fear, terror, worries, of what is happening daily, and what is to come…would it be worst??
We all wonder??
I know a Saying, by The Prophet MOHAMMAD, (The prayers of GOD be upon Him, and HIS Peace), saying, in meaning, that subversion comes like a sand storm in the desert…and those who are walking while it happens have different reactions. Some of them keep walking, regardless of the loss of vision…so they get lost in the desert, whether they moved left or right, backwards or forwards…for each thinks himself taking the right path…
Is this what is happening to people here today?
And the Saying Says: The Wise is that who sits in his place, and waited for the storm to pass, so he could clear his vision….
Isn’t this our life today, and the loss and perplexity that is storming us all is a subversion, of some kind…..
Bush and the Alawwi Government are working with the most possible force to control the situation…and with all legal and illegal methods. And those who oppose them are also working with the utmost potential to keep on the confrontations and fights…by methods legal, and illegal.
And the people are in great pain and frustration.
We want peace and security.
We want reconstruction, and the vision of a new future to our children. We have had enough of this daily revolt, violence, and hatred.
Who will be able to help us??
Our new house is in a safer neighborhood than the last one. Thank GOD. The old house was in an area near the Airport…the Airport Road is what I always call “ the death path”. Everyday there are bombings, confrontations, and deaths, Americans, and innocent Iraqi civilians.
A guard and his family now live in that house. Yesterday they said that an explosion near the house smashed the windows. Someone attacked a convoy on the main street by launchers, in the morning. So, the windows of our old house, and those of the neighbors, were smashed.
Some time in the past, I would have smiled when I told a story like this, but I found that I no longer had the wish to smile…for these stories became boring, and silly.
I paid him the price of repairing the windows, for the man had no financial ability to re-fit glass for the windows, at the rate of once every fortnight. What is his fault?
But at this house, I hear only the sirens of ambulances and police cars…from early morning till late at night. There are state hospitals and police stations around us…and whenever I hear the car’s sirens, I anticipate confrontations, dead people, and wounded…
Most days I open my eyes before 7 o’clock in the morning, listening to the noises of far-away gunshots, and explosions…and I whisper to myself: Oh GOD our Savior…there are dead people, and blood spilled since morning…
All my life I loved the morning…I find it the suitable time for the remembrance of GOD, to check on the garden and walk around it, and feel refreshed by the morning coolness, and the street quietness…but now, it became a meaning of attacks and assassinations…. May GOD curse whoever deformed our life…whoever he might be.
Clashes took place between the Iraqi National Guards, and the people praying at the Abu-Haniffa Mosque in Adhamiya. Some people say they surrounded the mosque only to search it, but some stories tell that they entered the mosque with their shoes on, and started firing bullets at the people praying there.
The next day, fires erupted at Al-Amiriya District, where veiled men attacked the Police station and National Guards center since morning, and there were confrontations and fighting in the streets, in revenge to what happened in Adhamiya.
Who is killing whom??
An Iraqi kills an Iraqi??
The veiled men are accusing the police and National Guard of treason, and collaboration with the occupiers…
The police and National Guard are defending themselves, denying these charges.
And people are looking on, astonished…
A woman-Doctor, who works as a consultant in some ministry was assassinated, with her driver and escort, a few days ago in Baghdad.
And a gang killed a married young woman, in her mid- twenties, who was our neighbor, and stole her car, a B.M.W, two days ago, while she was shopping in the morning…
And some people assassinated a young man who works as an interpreter with the Americans, at his front door.
Some veiled men bombed a restaurant in Mansour, because he sells hamburgers to the Americans. And a Pepsi shop in Amiriya, because it sells Pepsi to the Americans…
Who is right, and who is the wrongly treated one??
Does anyone have an answer??
The streets of Baghdad are full of black banners, bearing the names of the dead, and words of commiserating that are becoming familiar: the late Dr. (so and so), son of (so and so), or the late pharmacist (so and so), daughter of (Mr. So and so), or the late engineer (so and so),….and a lot more like them….
By a criminal, cowardly act. Or assassinated by a straying, treacherous hand.
Or by stray bullets, from the occupation army.
I always think of those who died in this war, and after it, wondering: Who is the happier?
The ones who died, or the ones alive…why do we mourn them, aren’t those alive, the more deserving to be mourned, and pitied?
Perhaps those who died are in rest…and pitying us, because we remained in the fear, and daily torture….
Translated by May/ Baghdad.

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